Finding housing in Paris or around may be quite difficult. Redoc gives you some advice to help you with that!
First, you should know the conditions to rent an apartment in France. And especially something which is often a problem for foreigners: most of the time, you’re supposed to have a guarantor (« garant » in French) who is supposed to pay your rent if you don’t. You’ll get more details about this in this excellent Housing Guide for visiting researchers prepared by Euraxess France (page 18).
This guide contains lots of useful information, but here are some tricks which are not in there:
- the Cité Internationale is a campus for foreign students and researchers in the south of Paris. It’s a really beautiful place, you may want to contact them to know whether it’s possible to find a one-room apartment or a room there. Actually, even if you don’t live there, it may be useful to pay them a visit, to take a few nice presentation leaflets about culture in Paris, or administrative procedures, at their information desk for foreigners (in the main building). You can go there by RER B, stop Cité Universitaire.
- if you have difficulties to find housing, you’re welcome to contact Acc&ss Paris-Est. They may tell you about Science Accueil which finds landlords who are willing to lend their apartment to researchers with convenient conditions.
- the SCVE (Service Culture et Vie de l’Etudiant) located at Université Paris-Est Créteil (CMC) has a specific housing service. It helps the students to contact the landlords for all 94 area. The most important thing is the guarantees, even French citizens are under the same conditions.
- there is a weekly magazine with ads for apartments to rent: De particulier à particulier. It’s issued on Thursdays, so buy it in the morning, call the landlords immediately, and you may improve your chances! Otherwise you can visit seloger.com, www.logic-immo.com (only real estate ads), or leboncoin.fr where some posts are related to the housing.
- if you’re interested in share housing (« colocation ») there are several websites to help you find roommates (« colocataires »), for example lacartedescolocs.fr or appartager.com.
- the entrance halls of universities are places where you could find ads about housing, especially flat sharing, or leave one saying you’re looking for something.
- be careful with « vendeurs de listes » ! Some new kinds of real-estate agency have flourished lately: with them, you have to pay as soon as you register in their company, and in exchange, they just give you a list of apartments to rent, with the contact information of the landlords. This list may be outdated, and you may pay for this service although you can’t find any apartment in the end. So if you use a real-estate agency, just focus on the « real » ones, where you only pay if you find an apartment you’re ready to rent.
You should also know that housing in Paris is usually expensive: 1/4 of people living there spend more than 45% of their salary for housing. If you don’t know anything about living expenses in Paris, you should contact your (future) colleagues to ask them about that, and then be able to estimate how much you can put on your housing budget.